Refraining from eating food. The Bible describes three main forms of fasting. The normal fast involves the total abstinence of food. Luke 4:2 reveals that Jesus “ate nothing”; afterward “He was hungry.” Jesus abstained from food but not from water.

In Acts 9:9 we read of an absolute fast where for three days Paul “did not ear or drink” (HCSB). The abstinence from both food and water seems to have lasted no more than three days (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16). The partial fast in Dan 10:3 emphasizes the restriction of diet rather than complete abstinence. The context implies that there were physical benefits resulting from this partial fast. However, this verse indicates that there was a revelation given to Daniel as a result of this time of fasting.

Fasting is the laying aside of food for a period of time when the believer is seeking to know God in a deeper experience. It is to be done as an act before God in the privacy of one’s own pursuit of God (Exod 34:28; 1 Sam 7:6; 1 Kings 19:8; Matt 6:17).

Fasting is to be done with the object of seeking to know God in a deeper experience (Isa 58: Zech 7:5). Fasting can be a tie of seeking a deeper prayer experience and drawing near to God in prevailing prayer (Ezra 8:23: Joel 2:12). The early church often fasting in seeking God’s will for leadership in the local church (Acts 13:2). When the early  church wanted to know the mind of God, there was a time of prayer and fasting.

Leave a Reply